Rural Landscape Project of The University of Hong Kong Received UNESCO Asia-Pacific Awards for Cultural Heritage Conservation Special Recognition for Sustainable Development 2020
The “Lai Chi Wo Rural Cultural Landscape” project has been awarded the inaugural Special Recognition for Sustainable Development in the 2020 UNESCO Asia-Pacific Awards for Cultural Heritage Conservation for its “pioneering approach to reviving a once-abandoned rural cultural landscape”.
The project is built on two consecutive programmes—“Sustainable Lai Chi Wo” and “HSBC Rural Sustainability”— initiated and implemented by IPSI member the Policy for Sustainability Lab of the Centre for Civil Society and Governance at The University of Hong Kong since 2013 with full support from the Lai Chi Wo Village and HSBC.
The UNESCO Asia-Pacific Awards for Cultural Heritage Conservation programme recognises exemplary conservation efforts by individuals and organisations in the region. To acknowledge more prominently the contribution of cultural heritage to sustainable development within the framework of Agenda 2030, UNESCO in early 2020 introduced the new Special Recognition for Sustainable Development with an updated set of Awards Criteria to recognise outstanding conservation projects that have made significant contribution to sustainable development. The Lai Chi Wo project is one of the two winners of this Special Recognition.
The jury applauded the project for upholding “the key dimensions of sustainable development in undertaking a holistic rejuvenation of the historic Hakka agricultural settlement using nature-based solutions” and demonstrating “the importance of interweaving nature and cultural heritage in setting a new urban-rural sustainability agenda for Hong Kong SAR and beyond”. The award is a due recognition of the collaborative efforts of many individuals and organisations who share a strong commitment to sustainability.
A short video introducing the story of Lai Chi Wo’s revitalisation can be viewed here (Chinese).